“It’s just a bit of harmless fun,” Aaron said, reaching for the scissors. “Nothing’s going to go wrong. I promise, Josh.”
I still wasn’t convinced. I was sitting in the drafty attic of the house I shared with Aaron, wearing nothing but my shorts, watching him as he set out everything he needed to perform the love spell. What exactly had persuaded me to put myself in this position? Then I took another sip of the fruity Californian Shiraz we’d been drinking all night and everything became clear.
It was Midsummer’s Night, the most magical night of the year—or so they said. For me, it was just another Friday night in, dozing in front of the television, half-eaten Chinese takeout on the low table in front of me. This time last year, I would have been out hitting the bars, dressed up in my favorite olive green shirt to complement my eyes and tight-fitting black slacks to show off my butt. But that was when I still believed Mr. Right was somewhere in the city, waiting for me to discover him. Months of crushing disappointment had told me that was not the case.
I was surprised when Aaron walked through the door. I’d thought he was spending the weekend with his boyfriend. He threw himself down heavily on the couch, glanced at the bottle of wine I’d opened, and said, “Mind if I join you in some of that, buddy?”
“Aren’t you supposed to be seeing Eric?” I asked, pouring him a generous glassful.
“I was, but they’ve had to call him in to cover a couple of shifts.” He snaffled an egg roll from my leftovers. “It’s kind of an emergency. There’s some bug going ’round the fire department, and the guys have been dropping like flies. Eric’s one of the only ones who’s not sick. But then, he’s got the constitution of a horse.”
I watched him as he took a long swallow of wine. Another glass of that and you’ll be reminding me he’s hung like one, too, I thought sourly. My roommate and I might have been the best of friends, happy to tell each other everything, but there were times when I didn’t want to hear the details of Aaron’s very spicy sex life. Like tonight, when I was feeling lonely and horny and more than a little sorry for myself.
It didn’t help that I had been carrying a torch for Aaron since the day I had moved into the house. He was just the type I always fell for: broad-shouldered and slim-hipped with black bangs that fell into dark blue eyes, the depths of which I could have drowned in. Add to that his whip-smart sense of humor, his kind heart, and his fabulous ass, and I was helplessly smitten. But Aaron had been with Eric as long as I had known him, and he had never given any indication of being anything but a one-man guy.
Aaron licked his fingers clean. Just watching him stick his pinkie between his plush lips sent a pang of lust shooting to my groin. “So how come you’re home?” he asked. “It’s happy hour all night at the Leopard Lounge. Okay, so it might be the shortest night of the year, but still….”
I wasn’t intending to pour my heart out to him, but as soon as I opened my mouth, I couldn’t stop the whole sorry story from tumbling out. “I just can’t do it anymore. I know they say there’s someone for everyone, but I really don’t think there’s anyone for me. I’m tired of putting my heart out there only for it to get trampled on every single time.”